Editor's Note: The following column was originally published in 2009.
Congratulations on purchasing your Wonder Fun Doll Dream House with Stables, Orchard and Shooting Range! These are your assembly instructions, so if you're a man, you're not reading this.
Step 1: There are approximately 89,000 pieces required to assemble your Wonder Fun Doll Dream House, making it only slightly less complicated to build than a Boeing jetliner. In order to have this ready for your little girl by Christmas morning, you should start putting it together no later than Martin Luther King Day.
Step 2: Position the Main Bearing Wall (Drawing 2-F-ALPHA) so that Footing Tabs A-L on Ground Floor Brace 1B face the front edge of Base 2 X with the YELLOW banding and the superior plinth. Firmly press your hands to your face and begin crying.
Step 3: If you just sort of stand the walls up and stick the main part of the roof on top of the whole mess, it kind of looks like the picture on the box. Maybe you could claim it is the Earthquake Version.
Step 4: Do you have any other children in the family? If so, you could put the pieces of this stupid dollhouse in their room and claim they took it and broke it. Or what about the dog? Surely you can blame the dog. There's still time to buy a dog.
Step 5: If you leave your front door unlocked, maybe someone will come in and steal the thing. You could put a sign in your front yard, telling them where to find it. No, that's ridiculous — the pieces, spread out, take up the entire living room. Thieves won't have trouble finding it, they'll have trouble carrying it. Consider packing it back in the box. You could place the box under the sign, even, and pay some neighbor kid to stand there and help the thieves load it in their vehicle.
Step 6: Let's face it, you promised your daughter you were going to give this to her, so the only thing to do is leave the family.
Step 7: You can't leave the family, so you'll just have to build this thing. Start with something easier, like the Fabulous Dog House. That way, when your daughter wakes up on Christmas morning and sees how little you've accomplished, you'll have a place to sleep.
Let's face it, everyone in the family is going to hate you, and is that fair? Why isn't your spouse out here building this stupid toy, you never even wanted kids! Or at least, you never wanted kids who wanted a toy like this!
Step 8: OK, now you feel bad. You love your daughter and want her to be happy. Think she'll take a check?
Step 9: A bag full of what appear to be red peas draws your attention, and you realize you are looking at several hundred tiny plastic apples for the orchard. They expect you to stick every piece of fruit on the tree limbs! Who are these people? Is there a website where you can go and have them murdered?
Step 10: The fire wouldn't have to be huge, just enough to burn the Wonder Fun Doll Dream House and maybe some furniture to make it believable.
Step 11: It shouldn't be that hard to fake amnesia.
Step 12: When is your daughter going to grow up and stop playing with dolls? She's almost 4 years old! Shouldn't you give her something that comes assembled, like a motorcycle? What kind of lesson does it teach her that she can ask for a gift for Christmas and receive it? Shouldn't she be learning about disappointment and despair? You want her to be one of those crazy people who is happy all the time? It's your job to teach her the most important lesson of life, which is that her parent can't build a Wonder Fun Doll Dream House!
Step 13: If you tell her you were kidnapped by aliens for gruesome experiments, she'll probably believe it. If you can't lie to your 4-year-old, who can you lie to?
Step 14: There's a toll-free number — they'll build the thing for you for only a grand. Call it. Pay it.
To write Bruce Cameron, visit his Website at www.wbrucecameron.com. To find out more about Bruce Cameron and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate Web page at www.creators.com.